Five More Men To Face Trial Over Whitmer Kidnapping Debacle

 District Judge Michael Stepka decided Wednesday that five men must stand trial in connection with a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, according to The Associated Press, a saga that has already resulted in convictions for several others.

Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. were found guilty in an August federal retrial of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in 2020. Michael Null, William Null, Eric Molitor and Shawn Fix of Michigan and Brian Higgins of Wisconsin are now headed for state-level trial for allegedly providing material support for terrorist acts relating to the plot, with the first four also facing a gun grime charge, the AP reported.

Prosecutors claim four of those bound for trial scouted Whitmer’s Elk Rapids, Michigan, vacation home in the area where plotters allegedly sought to kidnap her, according to the outlet. The idea of exploding a bridge to prevent a law enforcement response was discussed, prosecutors alleged. 

Fox and Croft’s attorneys claimed they were entrapped by the FBI, the AP reported. FBI Special Agent Christopher Long testified during their retrial that FBI informant Jenny Plunk shared a hotel room in July 2020, and she and informant Steve Robeson allegedly smoked weed with him, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Several men arrested in October 2020 on charges linked to the plot were associated with the Wolverine Watchmen, a militia group, according to Reuters. A man named Joe Morrison was allegedly the group’s “commander,” according to Fox 13.

Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar were convicted in state court in October of supplying material support for a terrorist act as Wolverine Watchmen members, according to the AP, with a jury ruling that they aided Fox and Croft, The Detroit News reported. Two additional men, Kaleb Franks and Ty Garbin, pleaded guilty in connection to the plot and testified against Fox and Croft, Fox 17 reported.

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